2007-04-12: Keep Mama-Dog With Her Pack!


Cass_icon.gif Daphne_icon.gif Lachlan_icon.gif


Lachlan and Cass go to the zoo, and Lachlan potentially reveals a little too much about himself when he practically rallies a protest against the possibility of separating an expecting African wild dog from her pack. Daphne does not reveal too much about herself when she half-agrees with him. Cass likes koalas.

Date It Happened: April 12th, 2007

Keep Mama-Dog With Her Pack!

The Bronx Zoo

It's a nice day! Then again, it had better be, considering the fact that it's April, and now several weeks into Spring. The day has been on-again/off-again rainy, which means that there are alternating pockets of heavy zoo traffic outside interspersed with people running like headless chickens to get inside the nearest reptile, bird, or small animal house. There are lots of those scattered around.

Despite Daphne's specialty with the birds of prey, she seems to have a certain repertoire with the other animals in the zoo, as well, so much so that when there's a vet call, she's occasionally asked to tag along. In this case, it's a simple check up on a pregnant female in the African wild dog enclosure, and since the animals are habituated to human contact, it's not much of a challenge for the veterinarian to get right inside the enclosure. The only problem is trying to fight off playful, slobbering dogs to get to the one that needs checking. She was inside at first, but thanks to the distraction, Daphne excused herself and is now standing outside the fence, picking dried dog spit off her arms and clothing as the vet inside the enclosure continues checking up on the dog she's after. Despite Daphne's telling them to calm down… Well, they're /dogs./ They're always happy. And they don't always like to /listen./

It's starting to drizzle again - just a spray of dampness at the moment, though with the approaching clouds, it looks like they might be in for another shower.

On-again, off-again rain is no reason to skip out on a visit to the zoo, and Lachlan /really wanted to go to the zoo/. It's been a while since he got to mentally interact with canines of an undomesticated nature, and it's always a treat to play with his abilities. Plus, he wanted to go on a date with Cass, so it seemed a good idea to kill two birds with one proverbial stone. At least one of them had the foresight to bring an umbrella, hence the impending rain is not much of a threat — not that the Scotsman has ever been afraid of rain, really. A jacket, T-shirt, and jeans are all he actually needs against the elements. Standing outside the fence of the wild dog enclosure, Lachlan looks to be on top of the world and is enthusiastically pointing at the dogs in the exhibit and explaining to his companion the intricacies of all things /AWD/. "An' tha' un's the breedin' female. She's pregnant. An' tha' 'un's the dad." This is totally interesting and important stuff.

Holding the umbrella and holding the collar of her rain jacket up against the elements, Cass leans against Lachlan for the added warmth. She's got her hood up, so should the rain come down suddenly, she won't find herself drenched. Lachlan's enthusiasm is met with a grin and she looks down into the pen holding the dogs and Daphne with an interest that is not at all faked. "They're cute," she replies. "Do you know how far along the female is?"

As she wanders along the fence, Daphne picks up on the chatter between Lachlan and Cass, and is pretty impressed that the gentleman seems to know who the father is. Considering this is a standard pregnancy - dominant female having pups with the dominant male - it's not too hard to figure out, though the average zoogoer doesn't know. To most people, they're just pretty dogs. "She's about five weeks," Daphne says, figuring they won't mind an employee's input - hopefully. "That's about halfway. She'll be a good mom. Her last litter was only one pup, but she took good care of him." She turns her attention to Lachlan. "Been watching these guys for awhile?"

Nope, Lachlan doesn't mind at all when Daphne steps in to offer her input. He's a little surprised, but definitely not put out about it. He nods at her response, grinning as he glances over into the enclosure again. "She's havin' five this time." He just /knows/. At the question of whether or not he's been watching them for a while, his grin fades a bit. "Oh, uh. Yeah." In all the fun and excitement of being able to talk freely about dogs and the things he Just Knows about them, he forgot that not /everyone/ knows what he can do. The Scotsman stuffs his hands into the pockets of his jacket. "I, uh, werk with dogs."

Cass also doesn't mind when Daphne offers her input. As someone who works at the zoo, it's what she's supposed to do! "Halfway. And that's good to hear." About her being a good mom. "Five, huh?" she grins at Lachlan. Though she knows that he can talk to canines, Daphne doesn't. Quickly and without seeming to skip a beat, she adds, "Well, I think it's going to be three. It's a bet." Oh yes, a cover up. One that she hopes will go over well.


"Yeah, we did the ultrasound just last week…" Of course, Daphne could hear the pups prior to that. She thought /four,/ but it was hard to sort each pup's voice out from the others. Besides, they were so young at the time that they really didn't have many thoughts of their own. Even now, what they boil down to is 'I'm uncomfortable.' 'I'm awake.' and the occasional 'Hey, I've discovered a new appendage.' But the skeptical look she's giving Lachlan indicates that, while she's impressed that he /knows,/ she's not thrilled about it. "Do you know someone who works here?" she asks.

Then she feels stupid. Oh, it's a /bet./ The whole thing with Laurel and the marks on the photographs and /everything,/ it's kind of turned her into a less-paranoid version of her best friend. "A bet. Right. Well, he's right, she's having five." Leaning on the gate, she gestures toward the veterinarian. "We're thinking of moving her away from the main pack, but she doesn't want to go. We were arguing about what'd be better for her." Daphne knows, of course. The mother says she'll be too stressed if there's no other dogs around - rephrased a little, of course - but she can't /tell/ anyone that.

It's a good thing Cass is quicker on the draw about lies. Lachlan breathes a mental sigh of relief when Daphne buys the bet-thing and he wraps an arm around Cass' shoulders gratefully. But then he's grinning, because he's /right/, there are /five/. "Tol' ye," he grunts at the bookstore owner. "Ye owe me." Perpetuate the lie, man. At the mention of separating the mother from the pack, however, he frowns. He /really/ does not like that idea — almost as much as the dog doesn't like it. "'ll tell ye wha'd be better fer 'er: ye leave 'er with 'er bloody pack, where she b'longs." There's an edge to his voice: the sort he always gets when encountering idiotic dog owners.

While Lachlan may be quick on the uptake of hitting things, Cass is good at the whole bluffing thing. It helps that she's had to be quick on her feet with lying to her father where she's been past curfew all those years ago. Keeping up with the lie, Cass gives a pout to Lachlan and than a good natured shrug at Daphne. "I always lose best against him." She wrinkles her nose. "Fine. I'm buying the first round tonight." The best she can come up with at the moment. Lachlan's sudden outburst earns a frown from the bookseller. "Lachlan. It's their zoo. I'm sure that they'll know what's best for her." Her tone is just a hint reproachful. She smiles at Daphne. "Sorry. He really likes all kinds of dogs."

Daphne's not a particularly patient person. She does /try,/ because she does work in a public environment where she has to deal with people without tearing their heads off. However— "Yes, I'm aware," she says as diplomatically as possible, with that edge to her voice that indicates that she's somewhere just on this side of raising her voice. "I've worked with the animals for a long time. I know these dogs." And the elephants, tigers, gorillas, eagles, et cetera. Like Lachlan, she can't assume that other people can hear the animals talking, because as far as she knows, she's the only one. "I'd love for her to stay here, but…" Pause. Is she saying too much? Change of tactic. "I usually work with the birds of prey. This isn't really my area."

But this is a subject from which Lachlan will not back down. The care of dogs is serious business, and he is clearly agitated at the idea that the mother will be separated from her pack. "They dunna know a bloody thing if they're thinkin' ta take 'er away from 'er pack," he utters at Cass. Yes. Officially, all the zookeepers involved in this travesty are Flaming Morons, and Daphne is skirting the edge of this category only because she seems to realize how utterly ridiculous segregation would be. The Scotsman locks his attention on her, frowning deeply. "They'll stress 'er out if they take 'er away. Wha' d'they think's gonna happen if they dunna take 'er out? S'no' like the rest o' the pack's gonna hurt 'er; they bloody love pups."

Cass gives Daphne an awkward and sympathetic smile. It's not her fault that Lachlan gets Very Serious about dog care. She seems nice enough, plus, this isn't her area of expertise, as she said. "Sorry," she says to her. "I'm sure you do. And I'm sure you'll do what's best for them." She frowns at Lachlan. "Lachlan, calm down. They haven't even done it yet. They may not. And it's not entirely this woman's decision to do it. Maybe we could speak to someone later about it?" She gives Daphne a hopeful look at that. Anything to stop Lachlan from ranting and possibly giving something very dangerous away about himself.

This would be so much easier if she could just tell these people that she /knows/ what's best for the dogs because she hears them telling her what they want /all the time!/ of course, in this case, what the dogs want might not be what's best for them. "The argument is that raising the pups with so many people around would stress her out," she says, still bordering on raising her voice. "And it's a good argument. I just don't—" Agree with it, her eyes seem to say. But bad-mouthing the decision of the zoo as a whole to patrons? Not a good idea. "Trust me, if I had my way, they'd stay here." Offering a nod to Cass, understanding what she's trying to do - namely, diffuse the situation before it explodes - there's something else at work here, and neither of these people would understand. "I, ah, need to go clean up," she states, before heading up toward the nearest restroom. One hand raises, waving over her shoulder as she adds the obligatory, "Enjoy your visit at the Bronx Zoo!"

"Wha— ?" Lachlan appears truly baffled and flabbergasted by the zoo's non-logic. However, he can't express it in time, because Daphne's storming off. By the time he collects his thoughts coherently, she's gone — so he instead turns his ranting on Cass. "Tha's the stupidest bloody thing I've ever heard," he growls, shoving his hands into his coat pockets with a scowl. "The dog's just bloody /fine/ with people 'round, b'cause there's people 'round alla bloody /time/. S'no' diff'rent 'n her whole life." Growlgrowlgrowl. "She needs ta be with 'er /pack/, no' locked up somewhere all alone." Yes. He's /very adamant/ about this. He will probably rant about it for hours.

"Thanks," Cass replies to Daphne's goodbye. She has nothing against the zookeeper. But, due to this, she knows she's going to hear about it the rest of the day. Not that she /really/ minds. She just is trying to get the Scot to be more understanding. Even if this is something that she doesn't know as well as he does. Positioning the umbrella so that she doesn't skewer him, she wraps her arms around him. "I know, honey. You know best about dogs. We'll go find someone and you can yell at them about it." She's only half teasing.

Grah! It's hard to remain ranty when Cass is being so consoling. Lachlan continues to scowl, brooding and absently wrapping one arm around the bookseller. "Better bloody b'lieve I'll yell at 'em," he grumbles. "Buncha daft bastards. Dunna know how ta take care o' their dogs. Shouldna be allowed ta run a fuckin' zoo." And then he starts looking around as though seeking information on just who he should yell /at/. He, unlike Cass, is not teasing at /all/.

That is mostly the point. The last thing Cass wants is for Lachlan to start ranting and raving at poor hapless zoo employees. Unfortunately, the Scot doesn't realize that she's teasing him. "Lach, come on. No. Write an angry letter or something. But let's not fight with city employees? Please? Let's go see the penguins. Or the koalas! Koalas are adorable." She gives her own version of puppy dog face.

B-but. Lachlan is very bad at literary things, especially letters. Cass should know this. He always feels more comfortable bellowing in someone's face and possibly getting violent. He frowns at Cass … but … but the /face/. God. It's not fair, what she's doing. "Stop tha'," he grunts. Then, he gives way with a sigh. "Fine. 'll write 'em a letter." And then he'll leave it somewhere obvious in Cass' apartment so she can proofread it without his having to ask her. Because that is just what Lachlan does. He glances toward the nearest zoo map. "Let's go see the bloody koalas." He's not really angry or upset at her — his tone is playful.

Oh, Cass knows this. She's hoping that it'll be enough to dissuade him from doing anything angry against the zoo. She likes it here. And, aha! The treatment works both ways! It's good to know that the puppy dog face works on Lachlan just as well as his works on her. Beaming, she keeps an arm around him as they move to the zoo map. "Excellent. And I'll still buy you the first round, tonight. You /did/ win the bet after all."

Oh hey! Lachlan wins a bet he didn't even really officially make. He's totally cool with that. Especially since it involves booze. He also keeps an arm around Cass and stares at the map before locating the koala exhibit and turning to steer her off toward it. "Ye'd better. We're goin' ta karaoke t'nigh'." Oh yes. Yes, they /are/.

Cass is quite happy to start moving toward the koalas and away from the disaster that is the problem of Lachlan assaulting people about mommy dogs. "Good! I love kaolas. They look like huge squishy bears." Of course, she finds just about all animals adorable. But, then he mentions karaoke. Wait, what? "Karaoke? Lach! No way! I don't sing. Ever. Not even in the shower."

"We're goin' ta /karaoke/ t'nigh'," Lachlan insists with a small good-natured shake and squeeze of Cass' shoulders. "Tha' was part o' the bet." The one that they didn't officially make, so he's allowed to make up terms as much as he likes! Muahaha!

Cass groans. "Laaach," she whines. Looks like she's picked up some of his bad habits already. And then, she tries the puppy dog eyes, even going so far as stepping in front of him to make sure he gets them full on. "That was /so/ not part of the bet and you know it. There is no way you're going to drag me to karaoke. I don't sing!"

Nope! It's not going to work this time! Lachlan is /stubborn/, and he is /going to drag Cass to karaoke/ whether she likes it or /not/. When she slips around in front of him, the Scotsman comes to an abrupt halt and peers down at herm, unimpressed. After a moment's pause, he tips forward a little to press his forehead against hers so that he can /starrrrrre/ into her eyes at very close quarters. "'ll carry ye if I have ta." Smirksmirk. He'll do it! He'll totally do it.

Puppy dog face! Don't fail her now! Cass turns it up another notch, however it's not working. Why isn't it working! Keeping her hands on his chest to keep him from walking on, she pouts. She /knows/ he'll do it. "You're so mean to me." More pouting. "I'll go. But I'm not singing."

Griiiiiin goes the Lachlan, because he knows that with enough booze, Cass will get up and sing. It never fails! "A'righ', a'righ'." More like "/yeah right/". He tilts his head a little to the side to give the bookseller a smooch on the lips, then moves to wrap his arm around her shoulders once again. "C'mon, we'll go look at yer squishy bears." And scheme.

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